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Tort Cases to Continue to Grow With New EPA Actions

on May 6, 2022

As the EPA continues to push for more PFAS regulations against manufacturers, litigation against new consumer product industries emerges.

In the last few years, PFAS litigation has evolved beyond lawsuits of personal injuries and into lawsuits against manufacturers using ‘forever chemicals in their products. 

New actions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not only expanded the number of cases against companies using PFAS in their products and packaging but more scrutiny around how these chemicals are disposed of. 

Last month, the EPA announced two actions in an effort to mitigate PFAS substance exposure in communities. In its statement, the agency plans to notify companies of their responsibility to follow existing requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to reduce the impact of PFAS contamination. The agency also claimed it would remove two PFAS from its Safer Chemical Ingredients List (SCIL).

Companies continue to announce new plans to phase out the use of PFAS in packages over the next few years, but cases are still piling in over the use of PFAS in manufacturing. PFAS chemicals are being found in numerous consumer goods every week so there are no signs of the case count slowing down.

Industries ranging from stain-resistant carpeting, non-stick coated cookware, and fast food packaging, to makeup and more are all under fire. Many claims are centered around a lack of disclosure to consumers under tort-related claims like statutory claims under consumer protection laws and unjust enrichment against the company.

Tracking this developing area of liability and keeping clients up-to-date in real-time is critical, particularly in the consumer goods industry. As company investigations continue, relevant industries will emerge, likely around environmental contamination and human exposure to these ‘forever chemicals.’

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